Title: Legend (Legend #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Narrator: Mariel Stern
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors.
Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles.
Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect.
Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
June is a prodigy, trained by the Republic to become one of the military's elite. She lives and breathes the Republic and is steadfastly loyal to her government. Day was born in the slums and has spent his life trying to provide for his family. He has become a rebel activist and is one of the Republic's most wanted criminals. When June's brother is murdered and Day is the prime suspect, the two cross paths and everything they believe in is turned upside down.
I found Legend to be very enjoyable, but it didn't blow me away. I found the plot to be a bit boring at first, so it took me a while to get interested in the book. The pace did eventually pick up, though, and I found myself not wanting to put the book down. By the end, I was completely hooked. I also thought the world that Marie Lu created was really interesting, but I wish she had provided more history about how it came to be. The story takes place in our future, and the Eastern and Western United States are at war. We don't get to learn how the United States ended up that way, though, and I think that would have been an interesting story.
I really enjoyed the characters of Day and June, as well as the supporting cast of characters. It took me a while to get invested, but I eventually grew to really care for them and their story. Something that I particularly appreciated was the way the romance was handled. June and Day definitely became enamored with one another, but I didn't feel like there was any instalove at all. The romance was developed well and was relatively believable. And there wasn't a love triangle! Yay! I am not a huge fan of romance, so the way this one was handled made it much more enjoyable for me.
My biggest gripe about Legend was how easy the plot was at times. The characters would encounter clues and then immediately figure them out without any trouble. Everything was a bit too convenient and predictable. The book wasn't incredibly long, so I feel like there was room for a little extra development within the plot. Even a paragraph here and there with the characters trying to interpret the clues could have made a big difference. While I enjoyed the story, every time the characters figured out a clue immediately, I had to roll my eyes a bit.
I am definitely invested in the Legend series now. I want to know what happens to the characters and how the story ends. There were a few things about the book that left me wanting more, but overall, the story is what is keeping me hooked. I think with a little more development, Legend could have been a book that I really loved. I still enjoyed it a lot, but it wasn't enough to make it to my list of favorites. I can't wait to see what happens to Day and June in Prodigy and Champion, though.